The Floral Sugar Trick Perfect For Springtime Beverages

For foodies, a change of seasons means a change in menu. On the dinner table, that might look like swapping a crock of mashed potatoes for a fresh cucumber salad. But, in the beverage world, it means mulled wine gives way to margaritas, and mugs of cider become tall glasses of apricot juice. If you're looking for a fun, inventive, unexpected way to ring in spring, there's an easy way to give your beverages a sweet, sophisticated facelift — and all it takes is two ingredients. Your favorite springtime sippers are coming back, and they're about to be better than ever.

Introducing: floral sugar. Not unlike an herb compound butter, it's a simple combination of edible flower petals and granulated sugar. Our recipe combines a half cup sugar with a quarter cup flower petals, blended together by hand using a mortar and pestle or pulverized in a food processor until finely ground. You're probably better off using dried flowers here since they'll easily grind into powder and incorporate well into the sugar. Fresh, "wet" petals, by contrast, will tear into smaller pieces instead of pulverizing, and might even add a bit of soggy wetness to the sugar.

To take it up another notch, you could press your floral sugar into cubes using a little water and an ice cube mold. (Pro tip: A ribbon-tied box of floral sugar cubes makes an adorable gift.) We've rounded up a few suggestions to help your ideas start blooming with the flowers.

'Tis the season to be sweet

Floral sugar bevys are perfect for picnics, backyard barbecues, girls' nights in, or sipping poolside. Lilacs, lavender, roses, violets, calendula, and more can quickly be turned into floral sugar — which you can use anywhere you would use regular sugar. It makes a show-stopping rim on your cocktail; Rim a glass of Sangria with Hibiscus sugar or use orange blossom sugar to rim an Aperol Spritz. If you're feeling fancy, sprinkle some rose sugar across the surface of a slightly sweet, bitter orange Cointreau Fizz with a splash of rosewater.

For a non-boozy option, stir marigold sugar into a pitcher of bright lemonade. You could even garnish with a fresh daisy and a peach slice to serve. Or, supercharge your morning pick-me-up and stir some lavender sugar into a glass of cold brew. If you prefer a hot drink, pop a few rose sugar cubes into a mug of dandelion tea for a sipper ready for a garden party or a cozy treat before bedtime. You could even make floral sugar using tea flowers like cardamom or chamomile. 

To steer clear of synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers, be careful to source any flowers you plan to eat or cook with from an organic grower, advises Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Conveniently, this is also a great excuse to pop over to a local florist or farmers market (which, as springtime rolls around, you've probably been wanting to do anyway).